Congress activists burn Badal's effigy; one protester dies in Punjab

Congress activists burn Badal's effigy; one protester dies in Punjab

Protesting the alleged sacrilege of the holy book Sri Guru Granth Sahib, members of Phagwara Block Congress (urban and rural) Committees today burnt an effigy of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

During another dharna at the Harike Bridge in Tarn Taran against the alleged sacrilege, a Nihang Sikh, Puran Singh, died due to heart attack. His body was also kept at the dharna spot where banners of 'Khalisthan' were also raised, police said.

The Phagwara protest rally led by PPCC General Secretary Joginder Singh Mann, advanced from Hargobindnagar to National Highway 1 and converged on the open space at the former Traffic Light chowk opposite PWD Rest House, police said.

Alleging that utter chaos and anarchist situation prevailed in the state, Mann did not rule out the possibility of both the Badals (CM and Deputy CM) being behind all the current happenings in order to divert public attention from the grave agrarian crisis.

He said, "In Centre, the Modi government, of which SAD was partner, was busy whipping up communal frenzy in country pursuing Hindutava agenda while in Punjab Badals, in whose government BJP, was an ally, was also reverting to pre-militancy days of Panthic agenda for garnering political gains."

Flaying the fresh incidents of alleged sacrilege at Bath and Najushah Mishriwala villages, Maan took to task police for opening fire subsequently on Behbal Kalan's peaceful protesters, killing two men.

He also demanded stringent action against the erring cops.

Phagwara Block (urban and rural) Presidents Sanjeev Bugga and Daljeet were also present here.

At the village Harbanspur-Jagjitpur, 15 kms from Phagwara, activists from Sikh community, protesting against the alleged sacrilege, blocked the traffic on Hoshiarpur-Phagwara road for two and a half hours, police said.

Led by Gurmukh Singh, Secretary, Gurdwara Nanaksar Managing Committee, the protesters staged dharna in the middle of the road, raised slogans against Punjab government and Punjab police for their failure to arrest the culprits.

When contacted, Phagwara DSP Manpreet Singh Dhillon said that traffic from Phagwara to Hoshiarpur and the vice versa was diverted via Panshta village.

Meanwhile, owing to blockade at Rama Mandi (Jalandhar Cantonement) on National Highway 1 near Jalandhar, traffic was today diverted from Phagwara to alternative routes.

DSP made it clear that NH1 in Phagwara was open and clear today from any blockade or dharna.

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